MUSIC royalty struck Gympie this week, with Jonah's Road frontman Jay Collie working with Caitlyn Shadbolt on a new song.

He also volunteered his time at the Australian Institute of Country Music, helping students with anything they needed.

It was in 2005 Mr Collie became acquainted with Gympie, when his band performed for the first time at the Muster.

From there the connection to the town grew, with the band running a workshop in 2007 at Gympie State High School, maintaining a relationship with AICM ever since.

The singer and music producer has helped a number of the town's superstars, including former Gympie singer-songwriter Alisha Todd.

Mr Collie collaborated with the young singer on her EP.

"I've always been an avid supporter of what the kids are doing," he said.

"In the last couple of years, a couple of people have shown exceptional talent, Caitlyn Shadbolt being one of them."

Mr Collie's support of young talent is fitting. He was a youth worker before becoming a full-time musician and music has remained one of his passions.

JAMMING: Jay Collie and Caitlyn Shadbolt jam at the AICM.
JAMMING: Jay Collie and Caitlyn Shadbolt jam at the AICM. Contributed

"I know how hard it is when you are a creative entity as a young person - there isn't a lot of support," he said.

However, he said he found the talent in the Gympie region was well supported.

"I find it (talent) really, really high but I'm not sure whether it's something in the water or the music infrastructure," he said.

"The support that is in this town is at an abnormal level. If everyone had someone like Geoff (Walden) and a venue, I don't think anything that happens in Gympie couldn't happen in another town."

The music master will finish his stay at the weekend but he hopes to visit again in the new year.

Gympie Times


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